Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Unknown Couple

This could also be a Wordless Wednesday post as I have no idea who this couple is.  It is amazing what the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library in Newtown, CT find in donated books.  This photo was found in a book and placed in a folder in the sorting room. The photo caught my eye. I hope someone recognizes the couple and would like to have the photo back. I will store it safely in my genealogy folder until it can be returned to its rightful owner. 

Tuesday's Tip - Genealogy Resources in Newtown, Connecticut

“The libraries of the world also constitute a vast resource of information that is totally ignored by genealogists.”  James Tanner, Genealogy’s Star blog.

James Tanner’s recent blog, “Non-Traditional Genealogy Data Sources” reminded me of the wealth of resources that reside in the genealogy room of the C.H. Booth Library in Newtown, Connecticut.  Listed below are just some of the items in the collection. There is also a large number of “How-to” books, as well as availability to Ancestry.com, help with Newtown research through the Genealogy Club of Newtown website's Random Acts link, our local professional genealogist, and our town historian.

Specific to Newtown ancestor research there is:
·      1890 Census Substitute for Newtown
·      1890-1899 Newtown Death Database
·      Cemetery Inscriptions: St. Paul’s Church, Huntington, CT
·      Genealogy Room Historic Papers
·      Hale Collection of Headstone Inscriptions for Newtown
·      Irish Tombstone Transcriptions for St. Rose Cemetery
·      Irish Tombstone Transcriptions for Old St. Peter’s Cemetery, Danbury, CT
·      Julia Brush Collection – Family Files
·      Newtown Bee Vital Records Index 1889-1953, 1960, 1980, and Newtown Bee Obits Index 2004-2011.
·      Newtown Congregational Church Records 1715-1946
·      Newtown Supplementary Vital Records
·      Newtown: Births, Marriages, Deaths, 1711-1852
·      Stratford: Births, Marriages, Deaths, 1639-1840

For those searching New England and beyond is:
·      New England Historical and Genealogical Register Mayflower Families
·      Great Migration books
·      Family Histories
·      Rhode Island Vital Records
·      Rhode Island Colonial Records
·      Revolutionary War materials
·      Military Service books
·      Genealogies of Connecticut Families
·      Census books (1850)
·      Heads of Families
·      New England states, towns, localities. Starting with Maine, ending with Connecticut.
·      Settlers of the Beekman Patent (NY)
·      DAR Lineage Books with Index
·      Connecticut Nutmegger with Index
·      Connecticut Ancestry Magazine
·      New York Genealogical and Biographical Record
·      American Genealogy
·      Long Island church books
·      Great Migration books
·      Reference books on individual states
·      Index: George Budke Tombstone inscriptions, Bergen County, NJ and Rockland County, NY
·      Ethnic group how-to books (Scottish roots, German-American ancestry, Jewish roots, Irish, English, Swedish and Polish roots)

After a trip to the state library in Hartford for some research I thought was only there, I then discovered what I needed was only four miles away at the C.H. Booth Library in Newtown!  As James Tanner suggests, take advantage of the materials in your own local library, historical society, and state library.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mystery Monday - Help Find Benjaman Kyle's Real Identity

At NERGC my husband attended Forensic Scientist Colleen Fitzpatrick’s session, “The Search for the Identity of the Amnesiac Benjaman Kyle.” Under his photo is the tag line,  “The only missing person whose whereabouts are known.”  This case is fascinating and gave us much to discuss on our ride home.  To learn about this case, Google “Benjaman Kyle” and read the Wikipedia account.  You will be astounded as to the amount of research that has been done to find this man’s identity, to no avail. 

I am reminded of this now because I happened upon Colleen’s blog, Identifinders through Geneabloggers.  Colleen is now posting lists of Indianapolis births August through September 1948, the time period and place in which Benjaman is suspected to have been born.

Please visit Colleen’s Identifinders site and if you find your name on the list or know of someone on the list, PLEASE contact her so she can eliminate that name as the possible birth of the man now called Benjaman Kyle.


Amanuensis Monday - Amanda Dudley Dean's Estate

This entry is another clipping in Mrs. Puff's scrapbook. Although no citation is provided, this notice probably appeared in the Ithaca Journal in the early 1900s.

Leaving an estate of $60,000, the will of Mrs. Amanda Dudley Dean, late of the Town of Newfield, in which she bequeaths $51,000 to relatives, was admitted to probate in surrogate’s court today. One of the foremost clauses in the document was that in which she bequeaths $10,000 to the University of Rochester for the sole purpose of helping young men through college who are studying for the Baptist ministry. To Mrs. Elmira Mason of Illinois Mrs. Dean left $2,000; to her executor, to be held in trust and the interest to go to Richard Dean of Schuyler County and after his death to residuary legatees, $5,000. To executor, to be held in trust, the interest to go to Mrs. Emaline Puff of Newfield and after her death to residuary legatees $5,000. To her grandniece, Edith Dudley Horton, $2,000; to grandnephew Carroll R. Horton, $2,000; to Randolph Horton, $2,000; to niece, Adah P. Horton, $5,000; to nephews Nathan C. Cook, Fred Puff and S. Dudley Cook, each $5,000. The residue of the estate was bequeathed to her niece, Adah P. Horton and the three nephews aforementioned.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - John W. Dean of Newfield, NY

Mr. Dean's obituary was transcribed from the scrapbook of Mrs. John L. Puff that recently came into our possession. The obituaries and wedding announcements found in this collection range from the late 1800s to around 1915. 

John W. Dean, aged 84 years, died last night [April 14, 1912] at his home in Newfield, after a several months’ illness, following a stroke of paralysis. He leaves his wife, and a niece, Mrs. Randolph Horton, of this city, and two nephews, S.D. Cook and N.C. Cook of Newfield. Mr. Dean had lived in Newfield for many years. He was prominent as a real estate dealer, and for a number of years was justice of the peace. The funeral will be held at 3 o’clock Wednesday afternoon from the home. The Rev. S.S. Vose of this city will officiate. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rainy Days Equals Genealogy Organization

I love rainy days!  I love to be inside warmed by a cozy fire and accomplishing all sorts of projects – and, of course, many of those are genealogy related!

One of my genealogy goals for 2011 is to produce a monograph of the Hardenbrook family line. I have a lot of research written up, but it now needs fact checking, photos, and the next step, a deeper level of research, i.e. land and probate records.  I continue to search for the reason as to why they traveled north to Seneca County, NY.  Was it availability of bounty lands, the rumor of available fertile farmland, or some other reason?

It became evident I needed to better organize the research materials I had put into a three-ring research binder. I took everything out and sorted by individual names, and then filed them back into the binder now separated by labeled tab file dividers.  The first page of my binder is the list of local history/genealogy information sheet for Seneca County kindly sent to me by the librarian at the Edith Ford Library in Ovid, New York.  Next are pages of cemetery listings where I found Hardenbrooks and associated families buried.  At the very back of the binder is a tab labeled, “Related Articles,” which contains items that may or may not be relevant. One woman interested in my Hardenbrook research sent me her article on the Dey Family of Bergen County, NJ and Seneca County, NY. At this point I don’t think there is a link, but one never knows.  I do appreciate her suggestions and interest.

This reorganization project provided me the opportunity to revisit much of the research I had done over the past few years, and can now view from a different perspective. It also allows me to fact check easier – when I see a statement, date or citation, I go immediately to the person’s section in my research binder and double check.

Aesthetics is important to me: the Hardenbrook genealogy resides in a sage green three ring binder featuring a color photo of my Grandmother Laura Wortman Hardenbook featured on the cover with her “famous” saying – “I will never give up the Hardenbrook name.”  The Hardenbrook research binder is white with a clip art tree on the cover sheet and spine labeled “Hardenbrook Family Research Documents.”  When I make a research trip for this family all I will need is the two binders.

I realize now that I should go through this process with each family line – how many rainy days will we have?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Family Lines Continued

Not a thought was given to the rich family history being united on this wedding day.

From left front row: Carol Agard Nunn, Mary Nunn Maki, Ray Maki, Kathryn Cutter Maki, Elmer Maki; from left back row: Ed Nunn, Merritt and Maude Hardenbrook Agard, Mary Doyle Nunn, Emil Maki; behind Ed is Martha Cutter.

When my mother-in-law passed away on May 4, we inherited her remaining photo albums, scrapbooks and journals.  Going through her albums, my husband pulled out our wedding picture and said, “Except for us, everyone else is gone.”  That statement confirmed for me why we work so hard on researching and documenting our family lines.

What we didn’t know on our wedding day was:
·      Ray’s grandfather’s name wasn’t originally Maki; it was Tenkula. Emil Tenkula emigrated from Finland in 1904 to escape serving in the Russian army. He came to the U.S. through Canada and worked in the Hibbing, Minnesota mines where he changed his name to “Maki” to make sure he got his paycheck. It was there he met Eva Nara.
·      Merritt Agard’s mother, Jessie Tucker Agard’s ancestors go back to Rev. John Lowthropp who was jailed at Newgate prison in London for religious reasons. Upon arriving in the new world abt. 1634 he documented much of Barnstable’s early history and his Bible resides in the Sturgis Library there.  The founding member of the Agard family was actually Esther, wife of John. She was six months pregnant when she arrived on the shores of Massachusetts in 1683. John died just upon or before arrival.  Esther arrived in New England just seven years after the horrible and deadly King Philip’s War.
·      Carol Agard Nunn wanted to be a dress designer. That dream was set aside to get married, raise three children and operate what became a renowned Ithaca, NY area restaurant.
·      Ed Nunn’s father, Harry, was not an only child, but had ten siblings and tragic growing up years. Information on this family, as well as St. Joseph’s Home in Peekskill, NY can be found in earlier blogs.
·      Mary Doyle Nunn also wasn’t an only child, but had several siblings, with only one living any length of time. She was Winnie Doyle; at this time I have no information on Winnie.
·      Maude Hardenbrook Agard’s father’s family emigrated from Germany to Amsterdam to New Amsterdam. Then to New Jersey, and on to Seneca County, New York. I am researching the Hardenbrook family line now. 
·      My husband produced a monograph of the Cutter line back to Elizabeth Leatherhead Cutter who arrived on our shores abt. 1640. He says with a name like “Leatherhead,” he doesn’t need to go back any farther. I think the name is intriguing and I bet he will be researching the Leatherhead line before too long.

We are excited that our family lines are so steeped in history; consequently our research honors each one of these family members who honored us by their presence at our wedding.  Happy searching – you never know what you will find!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Margaret E. Cortright

“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” Another well spent life is at an end in this life, the Master’s summons calling home the soul on last Thursday evening about 7 o’clock.  [Died: December 22, 1905]

Margaret E. Cortright, who had resided with her daughters, Mrs. E.H. Berdan and Miss Louise Cortright at their home on Lewis Street was born at New Fields, [Newfield] Tompkins County, New York, Jan 28, 1833 and during her long life had been remarkably healthy, never having passed through a siege of sickness. She had always led an active, busy life and on Thursday evening was engaged in clearing up the supper dishes when she suddenly fell upon the floor, almost before aid reached her side her spirit had taken flight. Doctors were called at once, but only could pronounce it heart failure. Mrs. Cortright came from Holland Dutch ancestry, her great-grandfather being born as his parents were crossing the sea. Her people settled in Orange county and later the family spread out over into Tompkins County. She was the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Puff. Two sisters, one of them older than her, and one brother remain of her parent’s family.  In her young womanhood she married Joseph Cortright of Danby, N.Y. Four children blessed their wedded life, the daughters with whom she resided, and two sons, Frederick F. of Brooklyn, N.Y. and William Cortright of Whitestone, N.Y. Her husband was called from her association some twelve years ago. Since her widowhood, she with her younger daughter, Miss Louise, have maintained a home. Practically speaking, her Christian experience has been life-long, always bearing in her heart a strong abiding love for things spiritual. In early life she united with the Presbyterian church at New Fields (sic), but in later life her children having united with the Methodist denomination, she too, withdrew from the Presbyterian church and united with her children, their home church being the well known Washington Square M.E. Church in Fourth street, New York City. The funeral was held Friday evening, at the home of Lewis street, Revs. Mr. Barton and McAllister officiating. The remains were taken to Brooklyn on Saturday morning for interment in Greenwood cemetery, where a committal service was held in the chapel. Thus endeth a life well spent; a loving wife, a revered mother, a kind and sympathetic friend and neighbor, who leaves as a legacy to her dear ones memories of a past useful and loving mother’s life, having that they might live and daily presenting to her children example of earnest and Christian life. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Willow Creek School

Willow Creek School was built in 1848. Originally a one-room schoolhouse, it is located at the corner of Willow Creek and Agard Roads, halfway between Trumansburg and Ithaca, New York.

I still feel the excitement of each new school year. There was the opportunity to pick out a new pencil box, a new lunch box, and of course choosing just the right outfit for the first day of school.  The dress had to be comfortable, yet eye-catching, with new ankle socks and shoes to match. 

In 1951 the small Willow Creek community faced a crisis: the school could no longer support the growing number of students.  A committee of parents was set-up to investigate the options of consolidating with either Ithaca or Trumansburg.  A record turnout of residents at the next meeting agreed they did not want their children bussed elsewhere. Over the summer all able-bodied residents worked on renovation and an addition to the schoolhouse. The building now had two classrooms, two new bathrooms, a new cloakroom space, and an additional teacher. Enrollment rose from 30 to 42 students. My father, Ed Nunn, was instrumental in working to keep us at the Willow Creek School.  The closing paragraph of the Morse Chain Echo newsletter where Dad worked stated: “Willow Creek is a closer knit and a better community today because so many of its people have gone to school and learned, very literally, to work together and like it.”

When I started school the schoolhouse had grades K-3 in one side and grades 4-6 in the other. In the middle entryway was a long line of coat hooks and at the end of the hall were the bathrooms. We arrived each morning and left our coats, boots and lunch boxes in the cool entryway before entering the classroom.

Our teacher, Miss Marian Evans, drove from Spencer, New York each day. I enjoyed attending a two-room schoolhouse, and took advantage of listening to the lessons of the other grades. When a grade had its instruction the students were asked to sit at the front, as to not disturb the other grades.  My third grade class consisted of three students.

Everyone brought their lunch, and my favorite lunches were bologna sandwiches made with lettuce and mayonnaise on white bread, or a cold hot dog on a roll with ketchup. Sometimes I brought a thermos of hot soup, and always a container of milk that Miss Evans opened. She opened everyone’s milk to minimize spillage. It was always a special treat at the beginning of each school year to shop for a new lunch box. They were metal and had popular television or book figures on them. Our lunch boxes were stored on shelves above the coat racks in the hall of the school. The hall was not heated – or at least not much, consequently our lunches stayed cool. After lunch we went out to the playground. There was a whole line of swings and slides along the hedgerow to the side of the building. At the back of the school was the Lehigh Valley railroad track. Trains went by on a regular basis; it was fun to be on the playground when a train went by.  We stopped what we were doing and waved. One day students in grades 1 through 3 were driven to Geneva where we boarded the train and rode to Ithaca. The older grades that remained at the school lined up along the fence separating the tracks from the playground. When the train went through we waved to each other.